“Once Upon a Time/ Paper Jungle​”- Yvonne Shorts Workshops/ RPGA Studio

This community project became a reality because of “Our Savior NY” 100 volunteers and the Executive Director of RPGA Studio/local artists Yvonne Shortt. This project was an opportunity to address community issues by using creativity.

the Burning Man Global Arts Grant and Queens Council of the Arts funded “Once Upon a Time/Paper Jungle”; to create community sculpture pieces made from aluminum.

Phase 1 of this installation ended in 2017. Phase 2 began in August 2017.

Several people volunteered and learned how to use different tools and express themselves creatively, some of those volunteers were members of a Texas mission group, who traveled to Queens for one week and cleaned the lot. This installation helped teach people how to turn their sketches into sculptures and mount them with U-channel posts in the garden.

Keeping the community engaged, Yvonne Shortt set up a free sculpture design class in her studio and it welcomed everyone to help create artwork for the garden.

Shortt designed and built the garden’s first sculpture, a giraffe called Ms. Polka Dot Red, along with Kew Gardens artist Mayuko Fujino, and Flushing creative Joel Esquite. “Polka dots are for the theme that will run through each piece, and red is for her desire to be bold and find innovative ways to grow her community,” Shortt explained.

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